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It’s tempting to connect with co-workers and staff online, but one impulsive Facebook post or tweet can strain work relationships and even jeopardize your job. Once a post or comment gets out there, it’s searchable and visible for a long time, so don’t think you’re safe because you’ve recently set your posts to private. Follow basic etiquette rules and limit work connections to keep your social media presence from getting in the way of your employment.

Social Media Usage in the Workplace

Whether you’re bringing in six figures, running a popular restaurant or just starting out in your career, your social media presence reflects who you are as a person, employee and employer. Co-workers and customers use social media to form first and lasting impressions about everyone they meet, and poor behavior on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other platforms can hurt your work relationships and even make you unhireable.

Social Media Tips

Beware of connecting with co-workers. Co-workers and employees aren’t your friends, even if you have a laugh on break, spend lunches together or get a drink on occasion. Your boundaries should be the same on and offline. If you wouldn’t invite someone over for dinner, why would you invite them into your social media accounts?

Think twice before sharing. Before hitting the post or tweet button, take a second to consider how others will interpret your words. Are you being offensive, unprofessional, self-centered or crass? If it’s even a possibility, delete the tweet or reword your post. Things to avoid include talking about money problems, detailing your romantic life, venting about emotional troubles, arguing about politics and complaining about work.

Don’t post during work hours. Not only will your employers wonder why you’re using social media during work hours, your overall job performance will suffer if you’re posting photos of your dog instead of tending to business. If you want to scroll through social media on your lunch break, fine. Just stay out of your accounts when your focus should be on work.

Don’t get sucked into arguments. It’s very easy to start a social media spat, but these fights never end well and they’ll make you look bad. Don’t ruin your reputation by getting pulled into social media arguments. If it’s not a subject you’d openly debate at work, it’s best to stay away.

Keep personal things personal. Honestly, no one cares what your cat ate for dinner, what your favorite brand of shoe is or what you’re listening to every hour of the day. Oversharing is boring, and when done on social media accounts like LinkedIn, it can hurt your professional brand. It can also make your professional relationships awkward.

Watch out for photo tags. You may be careful about what photos you share, but that won’t stop friends from tagging you in candid or unflattering photos. Don’t want co-workers seeing you drinking at the club last weekend? Make sure your security settings prevent other social media users from tagging you without permission.

Consider the future. Employers vet candidates through social media, and some check the accounts of their employees periodically to see what they’re up to outside of work. And employees investigate their supervisors on Facebook and Twitter and won’t hesitate to share interesting profiles. If you’re worried about what you posted in the past, go through old posts and remove anything questionable. And never say anything negative about your co-workers, company, employees or boss on social media. These comments will turn up and put your job in jeopardy.

Learn More Social Media Tips

Social media is powerful and personal, so it’s important to follow proper etiquette and best practices. If you don’t want to mask your identity on the internet, carefully consider every post, comment and photo you put online. For help navigating the complicated world of online etiquette, contact our top hospitality recruiters at Gecko Hospitality.  Read More about Social Media Marketing

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